Many Canadians were upset when a member of Four Tenors changed a sentence or two in our National Anthem at recent All Star Baseball Game. Same with Parliament again tweaking a few words in O’Canada. Now that one is on a role, he first walked along King Street in 1942, when Midland’s population was around 10,000 give or take a thousand or so. Midland was always known as The Gateway to the 30,000 Islands. There even was a painted sign on Simpson’s Furniture Store wall stressing THAT (fact across from movie theatre at King and Elizabeth when one moved to town in 1960).
When he was managing editor of Midland Free Press and later at Midland Times, in the mid-60’s, ’70s and well into ’80s…..Midland continued to be referred to as The Gateway to the 30,000 Islands. Seems if we were the Gateway to Southern Georgian Bay, we’d be located at southern end of the bay, maybe Woodland Beach, Allenwood Beach or even Wasaga Beach. At this rate maybe a small group could decide we call Midland, Mundy’s Bay, Mud Lake, End of Rail Line, Maybe add a VILLE to a less prominent Midlander’s sir name……Dougville has a nice ring to it. Mind you Reedville rolls off the tongue. The point is why do folks like tinkering with history. Guess we could say, Fr. Jean de Brebeuf did not pen Huron Carol at Ste Marie among the Hurons in 1643….. Thus there would be no need to promote the fact the Jesuit Saint, wrote North American FIRST EVER Christmas Carol! One is both a small “c” and a large “C” conservative and as one ages one isn’t overly keen about change. Lordy I’m starting like my late father, a former long time president of Woodstock Chamber of Commerce, furrier, and Credit Union pioneer who established more than 60 Credit Unions around the world. So here it is, we live in the hinterlands of central Ontario, in the Heart of Huronia, at The Gateway to the 30,000 Islands (God’s Country)….a mouthful but yes this is how the writer feels…..and he has no plans to call this neck of the woods anything differently.
Call one an old fart, as he inches ever closer to eight decades, he doesn’t mind.